The Core Filipino Ingredients You Need to Know

Before you start cooking, get familiar with these essential flavors

1. COCONUT VINEGAR
Varieties, such as tuba, coconut sap (pictured), sugar cane and pinakurat (spiced vinegar), are featured in dishes like kinilaw and adobo as well as marinades and pickles.

2. SAMPALOC
Also known as tamarind, this tart and tangy fruit is used primarily in sinigang, a sour-savory stew, and candies. It also is sold as a paste to add to marinades.

3. PANCIT
A general term for noodles derived from the Chinese word that means “convenient.”

4. BANANA KETCHUP
Made of bananas, sugar, vinegar and spices, this ingredient is found in Filipino sweet spaghetti and barbecue sauce.

5. BAGOONG
A funky-flavored umami bomb of fish or shrimp paste, bagoong works as a condiment, a topping for rice or in salad dressing. The product varies by region.

6. DRIED FISH
Dried fish such as daing are used to flavor rice, sauces and other dishes.